The Campus Cookbook: Home-cooked Chicken Parm

Home-cooked chicken Parm. Photo by Jessie Shiflett.

     There are few things that can bring people together, like good food. A great meal can make a bad day better and turn a good day into a great day. For this reason, I will try to cover a diverse range of dishes in hopes of bringing people together: from vegetarian, pescatarian and those of a more traditional diet. So, if you don’t see something you like in one issue, be sure to check the next one.

     The first dish is one of my personal favorites, chicken parmesan also known as chicken parm.

    When cooking, it is always best to do as much prep work as possible before you add heat. The first thing you should do is cut a few pieces of wax paper, get out the cheesecloth or one of your freezer bags before you rinse the chicken (if you are using bone-in chicken with the skin then bone the chicken and remove the skin). Wrap the boneless and skinless chicken in the wax paper or cheesecloth or place it in a freezer bag after you have rinsed it and beat it to a thickness of roughly half an inch, it’s fine you don’t get it to exactly half an inch thickness.

     After you have the chicken to the desired thickness, remove it from its protective covering and season it to taste with salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning.

     Make sure to rub the seasoning in well on both sides of the chicken and then place the freshly seasoned chicken into an unused resealable bag (you can use the same bag you used to beat the chicken with the mallet if you didn’t destroy the bag) with one to two cloves of minced garlic, three minced leaves of basil, two sprigs of rosemary and a quarter of a cup of red wine vinegar or merlot (do not use or consume alcohol if you are under the age of 21 or on ABAC property). Seal the bag and place it in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

     Once an hour has passed, pour three tablespoons of olive oil in the bottom of your oven-safe skillet and place it on a burner with medium-high heat. Get out your two bowls and crack an egg into the small bowl (be careful not to get any eggshell in the bowl) and beat it with a fork or whisk until the yolk and egg white are blended. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Fill the larger bowl with a cup of breadcrumbs, half a cup of grated parmesan and season to taste with salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and Italian seasoning, blend with a fork.

    Remove the marinated chicken from the refrigerator and dip in the egg bath. After the chicken is completely coated in egg, dip the chicken in the seasoned breadcrumbs making sure to press both sides of the chicken into the bread crumb mixture to ensure an even coating.

     Place the breaded chicken in the pan long enough to lightly brown the breading on the chicken. This should take two to three minutes per side. After browning both sides, leave the chicken in the pan but remove it from heat. Add the jar of sauce to the chicken skillet and mix in the wine and seasoning that was left in the marinade bag. Cover the skillet with an oven-safe lid and let it cook for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the lid (and the rosemary sprigs if you added the contents from the marinade bag), add the other three basil leaves and cover the chicken with the cup of mozzarella cheese. Return the chicken to the oven and let it cook for another 15 minutes.

     Start the pasta immediately after returning the chicken to the oven with the cheese. If you follow the directions for the pasta you’re cooking, your pasta and chicken should get done at the same time. Plate the pasta to the side of the noodles, add some sauce from the skillet to the top of the noodles and use the remaining sprigs of rosemary to garnish the dish.

Chicken Parm Recipe: 

Time to cook: 45 minutes

Prep time: 15 minutes

What you’ll need for this dish:

1 Cast iron or other oven-safe skillets

1 meat mallet

2 bowls (one large and one small)

1 resealable gallon freezer bag

Waxed paper or cheesecloth to wrap the chicken so it doesn’t splatter chicken across the kitchen when you beat it down. You can also use another resealable freezer bag for this.

Olive oil

Bread crumbs

1 egg

1 jar of tomato sauce

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or bone-in breasts with skin if you don’t mind a little more work).

Minced garlic

4 fresh sprigs of rosemary

6 fresh leaves of basil

1 cup of freshly grated mozzarella cheese

½ cup of grated parmesan

Onion powder

Garlic powder

Salt and pepper

Italian seasoning

Red wine vinegar and/or merlot (if you are 21 or older and not cooking on campus).

1 box of pasta of your choice


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